Prenatal Care

What is prenatal care?

Prenatal care is the care you receive during your pregnancy. This care starts from your first positive pregnancy test through the full term of your pregnancy and labor and delivery.

What are the benefits of prenatal care?

Prenatal care is essential to ensure the health both moms-to-be and their growing babies. Regular prenatal checkups have been shown to help diagnose any potential conditions earlier for treatment, reduce complications during and after birth and increase education of parents prior to the birth of their baby.

What happens during a prenatal checkup?

Your physician will give you a complete schedule of prenatal appointments that will also include fetal checkups to see where your baby is developmentally. For high risk pregnancies your physician will likely want to see you more frequently but for a normal pregnancy you will have checkups once a month for the first 7 months, twice a month from 7 through 9 months and once a week nearing and past your due date.

During these checkups your physician will run some tests including blood tests and urine tests. Using ultrasound imaging a technician or your physician will check on your baby’s growth and development during checkups, new parents are always excited to see their babies on the sonogram print outs!

As you progress through your pregnancy your physician may need to run additional tests such as amniocentesis if you have a family history of a genetic condition. Your blood pressure is another important part of your prenatal checkups since fluctuations in blood pressure can indicate potential problems. Towards the end of your pregnancy your baby’s movement will be monitored closely; as you near your due date your baby’s movement will change which your physician will notice and be able to more correctly estimate when your labor will start.